'There is no Chinese debt trap'

19 November 2018 | International

The Chinese embassy in Windhoek has responded to allegations that a Namibian delegation, led by President Hage Geingob in March this year, had travelled to China to seek funding for various projects, including the upgrades at Hosea Kutako International Airport.

Leaked documents show that the Namibian government fully accepted the terms stipulated by the Chinese, and those documents are dated long before the September Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Deheng Feng of the Chinese embassy in Windhoek sent a statement last week dismissing those allegations.

“The financing arrangements for the airport project proposed by the Chinese side are the implementation of the 'Eight Major Initiative' of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation as well as the consensus between the two heads of state during President Hage Geingob's state visit to China,” he said.

Job Amupanda of the Affirmative Repositioning movement, who shared the leaked documents online, said Namibians were being “fed lies”.

According to Feng, “China-Namibia cooperation has always adhered to the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit. At present, the two sides are still negotiating relevant details of the financing arrangements. Both sides have a series of internal procedures to be followed, and no final agreement has been reached so far.

“The so-called 'Chinese debt trap' is a false proposition.”

Feng insists the cooperation is a “win-win situation for both countries” and added that “financing arrangements provided by China for Namibia have always adhered to the goal of benefiting Namibia's economic and social development, and taken full account of the debt burden and repaying capacity of Namibia”.

“Any attempt to seize on this issue to distort the win-win cooperation between China and Namibia is extremely irresponsible,” Feng wrote.

STAFF REPORTER

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